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Holly McQuillan: Weaving Multimorphic Textile-Forms


When Holly McQuillan began her PhD almost 5 years ago, she knew very little about the process of weaving or its potential to transform her research practice, which was primarily form-focused in the context of zero waste fashion design and pattern cutting. However, her experience at the Department of Design in the Swedish School of Textiles provided access to exciting technology and skillful colleagues, and combined with her inherent curiosity to lead to a body of research that operates at the boundary between weave thinking and form thinking, helping to grow the emerging field of textile-form (or 3D) weaving.

Holly came to weaving through her experience consulting with industry and researching zero waste design practices and pattern cutting. Like weaving, zero waste garment design is inherently an ancient practice that values textiles first and foremost. In contrast the fashion industry values speed and cost first. As McQuillan discovered during one of her PhD case studies, the industry would rather waste 4km of virgin textiles (on a single style and size for a season!), than add a single seam. In response, Holly’s research began to explore alternative systems of garment and form creation, coming to focus on textile-form weaving, which, like 3D (seamless and fully fashioned) knitting, enables the simultaneous and on-demand creation of textile and form.

The majority of 3D woven garments have been developed by textile designers, so Holly was interested to explore the potential of applying a zero waste form-making lens to the design of weave-able 3D forms. Beginning with simple t-shirt forms (one shown below), the experiments in McQuillan’s PhD, “Zero Waste Systems Thinking: Multimorphic Textile-forms”, progressively build a foundation of the textile-form thinking skills needed to construct these complex topologies.

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Exhibition: Pushing The Limits | A Virtual Shaft Weaving Art Exhibition

Pushing the Limits is a virtual shaft weaving artwork exhibition curated by former European Textile Network ETN president -and always a weaver- Lala de Dios (Spain) and textile artist Olivier Masson (France) who has also engineered the exhibition.

Weaving is one of oldest human industries -if not the oldest- and many kinds of looms or weaving devices have been accompanying humankind since the beginning of times. From the backstrap to dobby looms, the history of weaving has been an uninterrupted succession of technological inventions until the arrival of the first Jacquard hand looms in 18th century France.  The rest is history. Today we are living the digital Jacquard loom era. Contemporary textile artists use this tool which allows for an -almost- unlimited freedom to weavers.

This should not hide the fact that many of today’s artists and designers are happily enjoying weaving in shaft looms as weavers have been doing for hundreds of years. Not only to weave the functional textiles so often associated with the machine, but also works of art ; from Anni Albers’ pictorial weavings to Peter Collingwood`s macrogauzes to quote only two well-known examples from the last century.

The exhibition aims to highlight the incredible possibilities of that supposedly limited “machine” to create textile pieces that are works of art in their own right. Continue reading →

Art Quill Studio & Blog | Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Art Quill Studio: A website featuring glossaries & articles relevant to Textile Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski works as a full time studio artist, researcher, author, curator, university lecturer and is the former co-editor of Textile Fibre Forum art magazine.

She is the Director of Art Quill Studio & Blog. Her first post on the Art Quill Studio blogspot was published on August 26, 2010 focussing on the first ArtCloth exhibition in Australia featuring international and national textile artists and was titled – ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions and featured important textile artists such as Norma Starszakowna (UK), Joan Schulze (USA), Joan Truckenbrod (USA), Cas Holmes (UK), Jane Dunnewold (USA) and Ken Kagajo (Japan) – amongst others. At the present time over 500 posts have been published.

At the outset Art Quill Studio blogspot was designed to educate as well as to entertain. The education posts were titled, Art Resource, under the header of the post. At the time of writing more than one hundred Art Resources have been published. These are mostly published in the first week of every month. In order to access these resources more quickly, in the ‘Preamble’ of every Art Resource post are links to all of the other Art Resource posts on the blogspot. Example:  One Hundreth Art Resource. Continue reading →

Weaving: Contemporary Makers on the Loom | Katie Treggiden

There is  an exciting scene of professional designers, artisans and artists that continue to revitalise the centuries-old craft today.

From rugs and wall hangings to artistic installations and subversive interventions, contemporary expressions of the craft are as diverse as they are numerous.

Weaving – Contemporary Makers on the Loom presents a survey of this vibrant revival, with profiles of over twenty contemporary weavers:

Argentinian Alexandra Kehayoglou, designs breath-taking natural landscapes (for the likes of Dries van Noten), while Daniel Harris (UK) makes textiles for famous clothing brands using nineteenth century looms.

Brent Wadden (Canada) weaves beautiful, museum-standard fabrics.

The book includes  images of their studios, work and inspiration and indepth essays on the craft’s relationship with themes such as emancipation, migration and new technologies.

The featured weavers in the book are Alexandra Kehayoglou (Argentina), Allyson Rousseau
(Canada), Brent Wadden (Canada), Christy Matson (US), Daniel Harris (UK), Dee Clements (US), Diedrick Brackens (US), Dienke Dekker (Netherlands), Eleanor Pritchard (UK), Erin M. Riley (US), Genevieve Griffiths (New Zealand), Hermine Van Dijck (Belgium), Hiroko Takeda (Japan), Ilse Acke (Belgium), Jen Keane (UK), Judit Just (Spain), Karin Carlander (Denmark), Kayla Mattes (US), Lauren Chang (US), Rachel Scott (UK), Rachel Snack (US) and Tanya Aguiñiga (Mexico). In the Weaving Futures section are included Jorien Wiltenburg, Philippa Brock (UK)  & Jen Keane (UK), amongst others. Continue reading →

Anni Albers: Tate Modern

This autumn Tate Modern will present the UK’s first major retrospective of the work of Anni Albers (1899-1994). This exhibition will bring together her most important works from major collections in the US and Europe, many of which will be shown in the UK for the first time, to highlight Albers’s significance as an artist.

Opening ahead of the centenary of the Bauhaus in 2019, this exhibition is long overdue recognition of Albers’s pivotal contribution to modern art and design, and part of Tate Modern’s wider commitment to showing artists working in textiles.

Anni Albers combined the ancient craft of hand-weaving with the language of modern art, finding within the medium many possibilities for the expression of modern life.

Featuring over 350 objects including beautiful small-scale studies, large wall-hangings, jewellery made from everyday items, and textiles designed for mass production, this exhibition will explore the many aspects of Albers’s practice – such as the intersection between art and craft; hand-weaving and machine production; ancient and modern.

Albers held a long-standing interest in the relationship between textiles and architecture and the show will highlight her lesser-known commissioned works in this area. The exhibition design will take inspiration from the artist’s own writings, such as her seminal essay ‘The Pliable Plane: Textiles in Architecture’, 1957, in which Albers advocates ‘a new understanding between the architect and the inventive weaver’.

Born in Berlin at the turn of the century, Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann became a student at the Bauhaus in 1922, where she met her husband Josef Albers and other key modernist figures like Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Though the Bauhaus aspired to equality between the sexes, women were still discouraged from learning certain disciplines including painting. Albers began weaving by default, but it was in textiles that she found her means of expression, dedicating herself to the medium for the majority of her career.

The exhibition will explore how, here in the school’s vibrant weaving workshop, traditional hand-weaving was redefined as modern art. Continue reading →

Collaboration project: Nadia – Anne Ricketts

Beatie Wolfe, David Mason aka Mr Fish & BeatWoven by Stuart NichollsSeeing music differently in The House of Rock; 34 Montague Square.

A collaboration between woven textile artist Nadia-Anne Ricketts from BeatWoven, musician Beatie Wolfe and Saville Row tailor David Mason of Mr. Fish.

It all began on the night of a book launch; The Digital Handmade : Craftsmanship in the New Industrial Revolution, where both textile artist Nadia-Anne Ricketts and innovative musician Beatie Wolfe were introduced by the author Lucy Johnston . It was the beginning of a collaboration where the five worlds of fashion, music, craft, history and technology would collide to show how music and craft can be worn and seen very differently in a compelling, storytelling way.

ProcessDubbed ‘The Secret Abbey Road’, 34 Montague Square is the former home of Hendrix, McCartney, Lennon and Ono; and the very birthplace of a ‘Wind Cries Mary’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’.

The basement flat now belongs to savile row tailor, David Mason, an already collaborative partner to Beatie Wolfe. Both were eager to launch both David’s new acquisition; the re-launch of the flamboyant fashion label to the rock stars of the 60’s – Hendrix, Bowie and Jagger to name a few – Mr. Fish; with the release of Beatie’s new album consisted of music lyrics inspired by the very people that inhabited the space fifty years ago.
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Exhibition: Tibor Reich

 

4) Tibor infront of Clifford Mill (his mill) 1950This year celebrates the centenary of pioneering designer Tibor Reich, who brought modernity into British textiles. A major retrospective at the Whitworth, Manchester opens 29th January – August 2016, accompanied by a publication ‘The Art of Colour and Texture’ available from March 2016.

His revolutionary designs for fabrics, transformed the appearance of both public buildings and domestic interiors in post-war Britain. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1916, Reich studied architecture and textiles in Vienna before coming to Britain to study textiles at Leeds University. By the time he graduated in 1941 he was designing for London’s top couturiers including Hardy Amies and Edward Molyenux

In 1946 he set up Tibor Ltd, introducing bright new colours, unusual textures and innovative pottery into the drab interiors of post-war Britain. Based in Stratford-upon-Avon, the firm rapidly gained an international reputation, working on prestigious commissions including the 1951 Festival of Britain, the Royal Yacht Britannia (1954) and Concorde (1966).

His fabrics could also be found on post-war furniture including Ercol, Ernest Race and Gordon Russell.

17)Woven Textile Sample Cards 1950s_2

In 2015 Tibor Reich’s Grandson, Sam Reich, began the huge task of reviving his Grandfathers company, Tibor Ltd. The Weave Shed website played a vital role in this, helping Sam to establish contacts within the industry both yarn and manufacturing and in connecting with future employees.

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Film: Tana Bana – the warp and the weft

Copyright Annie DibbleTana Bana is a weaving term meaning ‘the warp and the weft.’ In Varanasi, the legendary Hindu city, it also means the warp and weft of time and space as well as the daily synergy of Hindu and Moslem. But now Varanasi is under threat.

If a single weaver can operate four power looms at the same time and the weavers are unable to teach their skills to their children, how can the city survive?

This unique, intimate documentary takes  a journey through a day in the life of Varanasi, challenging preconceptions along the way. From Hindu prayers on the Ganges at dawn, the film moves into a Moslem world where the hidden lives of women and children are gradually revealed as the weavers attempt to address the huge forces dominating their lives.

For a number of years the filmmakers have  filmed the Muslim handloom weavers and their community in Varanasi India – who make silk zari brocades and wedding saris.

Tana Bana will show as part of the V&A Museum Fabric of India Exhibition on the 16th November 2015. The hosts are the London Asia Film Festival and the venue is Regent’s Street Cinema, W1. Continue reading →

Exhibitions & PhD: Barbara Jansen

3 - temporal patterns - colour flowBarbara Jansen will be displaying two projects (physical prototypes): “rhythm exercise” and “Sinus 64 + blue” at Techtextil Fair in Frankfurt on the stand from Smart Textiles/University of Boras, stand 3.1 C76, 4th-7th May 2015.

She will be on site on 4th-6th May. She will also give a lecture on  her PhD research at Elfack Fair in the Light Forum at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Center in Gothenburg 7th -may 2015.

Temporal patterns – Solo Exhibition.
Textile Museum Boras, Sweden. 17th February – 29th March

7 - temporal patterns - Sinus 64 + blueIn this exhibition, textile designer Barbara Jansen presented her PhD thesis, in which she investigated the visual effects of movement using light as a continuous time-based medium. The textiles displayed in this exhibition showed a varying range of examples which explore aesthetic possibilities of how light can be integrated as an active part into textile structures. Thereby ranging from weaving, to knitting and braiding techniques, both hand crafted, as well as industrial produced.

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Symposium: Cultural Threads

Cultural-Threads-Launch1